Vogue 9217 – Kathryn Brenne – Wonderful

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I’m in pants heaven. I love this pattern!

From Kathryn Brenne, and I’ve found no reviews, so perk up… Great pieces. A shell, a reversible jacket, and these pants. This post is all about the pants.

v9217 lines
Pattern link on BMV

Another view of happy me.

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So much to talk about, but check out the ‘dolphin’ hems (usually seen on jogging shorts, so really new for me).

dolphin hem
Fabric: Multi-stripe Cotton Ikat from Fashion Fabric Club…totally misnamed, because it’s a jacquard!

I did a muslin of these pants last week, wrote a post about them, and then decided it was just a dreary kind of post. But the muslin was so helpful – I had planned to sew the pants in this great cotton jacquard, and I didn’t want to blow it. A view of the muslin, and, BTW, it’s a nice view of how well this pattern would work for shorts (mine are in PJ rotation):

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Back to these new britches…

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Part of the challenge with this fabric was figuring out how to place the pattern. I didn’t want the dominant white stripe to be misplaced on the front or the back 🙂 So lots of single-layer cutting. I just did it with a good movie playing.

back

Some sewing notes:

  • I made the size Medium (12-14) with NO changes to the fit.
  • In an unusual move for me, I used packaged double-fold bias tape to finish the hems. IMO, it was much easier than working with bias strips cut from cotton broadcloth. Even so, I spent most of one day finishing the hems. Picky picky…but finish is really important to me, and I never mind the time or effort involved.

hem

  • The pattern doesn’t provide very much information about the finished garment measurements. Which can be frustrating! So I measured mine, straight size Medium:
    • Inseam 27″.
    • Outseam, below the waist, 39″.
    • Thigh circumference 28″.
    • Crotch 27″.  Front 12 1/4″, back 14 3/4″

The pants are pretty much straight up and down, so they can be shortened anywhere in the leg. And the rise can be shortened at the top edge (just be sure to move your pockets down as well if needed).

  • About that hem. I almost used a facing instead of the bias tape that the pattern uses. And I think it would be a reasonable way to finish them (although I love the taped hem). A suggestion on how to do it, simply draft the hem with its ‘natural’ seam allowance, and draft a facing to match. E.g.,

re-do hem with facing

  • The pockets provided with the pattern are standard in-seam pockets. But for pants, I really prefer a slant pocket that’s attached in the waistband. I used the pocket from Butterick 6296, but any similar pocket would work fine.

These will be my favorite summer long pants. Absolutely. I want more! Last pic of this happy woman. Photo-bomber Emile is sporting a Tessuti Megan Cardigan, finished last week, I’ll blog it soon. And my blouse is my recent camp shirt (B6296), cropped!

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Kwik Sew 3873 and a summer muslin

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Well, I’m trying very hard to break out of my maxi dress and loose tunic mold. It’s not easy! I haven’t made or worn a short dress in 3 years, ever since my morphea scleroderma took aim at my legs. With most of the lesions ‘burnt out’ into scar tissue, I decided it’s time to pull up my big girl britches and get over this particular mental bump. A short dress 🙂

Grant you, the colors are all wrong for me, I bought this fabric before my color epiphany. But that just made it an easy choice to muslin a look that I really like. I.e., a slim dress with a slightly dropped waist, simple neckline, and short sleeves.

I started with the bodice from Kwik Sew 3873, because it has all the elements I wanted in the top. (It also has a super cute skirt. Check out this beautiful version by Cat in the Wardrobe).

line art

After a bit of flat-measuring, I added 1 7/8″ to the length of the bodice, dropping it about 1.5″ below my natural waist. And I drafted a simple A-line skirt. The top of the skirt is about 1.3 x the width of the bodice at the waist seam.

waist

A note on the bodice front. The cut is so sensible. It’s a bit longer toward CF, so the skirt doesn’t hitch up due to the girls and so on.

front pattern piece
I drafted my version with 1/2″ seam allowances, not being willing to sew with a 1/4″ SA!

Truth time. Initially, I cut out a maxi skirt. Boring, same-old-same-old look. So I took off 17″. And then another 2″! I was on a roll – my finished skirt is 22″ long at the side seam 🙂

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I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself, and I’m looking forward to making some summer dresses sporting my new look.  It feels good…

Bye for now – Coco

 

 

 

 

A copycat blouse…

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Miss Impatient here. I’ve managed to sew my stash down to only 4 fabrics, all of which are most suited to winter – not to our very warm and humid Florida summer. The good part, I do have some fabric on order. I just have to maintain… If anyone wondered, the hard part of retirement is paying attention to a budget – being on a pay-as-you-go plan. Two crowns, a new hot water heater, yard cleanup, and sidewalk repairs have left me wistfully window-shopping fabric 🙂

Not to be deterred – I still had a couple yards of Michael Miller Cotton Couture, the last remnant from the 10 yards I ordered in 2014, to muslin my DD’s bridal gown (in the end, and really to my relief, she got a beautiful tea dress from David’s Bridal). So I decided to take a stab at a top that I really like, from Vivid Linen:

vividlinen

How perfect for hot weather!

I started with the Grainline Scout Tee, a great pattern that I’ve altered quite a bit over time, to fit my wide shoulders and narrow chest, and to add bust darts. On this version, I modified it a lot more!

f9e55-1-grainline3002scoutwoventee

But first, another pic of my top…

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The big changes are to mimic the hi-low hems and slit sides of the inspiration blouse. First, I decided how long to make the front. Then I modified the back to be longer than the front. And, last, I drafted the side seams to support a slit. I already had a ‘cropped’ cutting line on my pattern, from past versions, so the changes were fairly easy. Here’s how I managed the side slits and hems. Finished, the back is a bit over 2″ longer than the front:

Side seams

Inside view:

inside

And outside:

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That was pretty easy. I also had to think about the ‘balance’ of the top – finishing the hems, sleeves, neck facing (my add-on, instead of a neckband), and so on. I decided to use the same width for all of them, which I think looks really nice:

outside

To complete my copycat look, I needed to add pockets (in the end, I only added one). So a tip – cut, measure, trim, and mark pockets. I use Frixion pens, and I stay-stitch all my fold lines to ensure an even turn and application.

pockets

How does the back look? It’s just where I wanted it 🙂

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Of course I’ve styled this top with a very fun pair of True Bias Hudson Pants, sewn in funky ITY knit, from way back in 2014, and still a favorite pattern (blogged here).

So – I’m really pleased with this muslin. What next? Well, I prefer to wear knit tops. They don’t wrinkle, they’re light, and they work well in south Florida – so I’ll be adjusting my pattern draft for knits. Among the fabrics I ordered from Girl Charlee are 8 yards of lightweight modal/cotton/rayon jersey. Should keep me out of trouble for a while.

Ciao! Coco

B6296 – Summer (campin’) shirt

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Sometimes I think I’m like a puppy – I just keep shaking that new toy. I mentioned in an earlier post that the top from the Butterick 6296 pajama pattern would make a great camp shirt. I had a large remnant of Michael Miller cotton couture in the stash, so I decided to give it a go.  Bingo! It’s really cute.

B6296_a-horz

A couple pics with the shirt worn outside – I had to take these first since I knew it would get all wrinkly once I tucked it in my britches.

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I used the cutting line from View A, which is shorter, and then shortened it another 2″, using the scientific eyeballing method and the back length of my TSW Trio Shirt.

out 2

I did want to ditch the PJ look as much as possible, so I didn’t use edging detail on the sleeve band. Instead, I added a curved corner to each end of the band, and then attached it ‘upside down’.

sleeve

I really like this small, easy change. It also occurred to me that it also would be simple to widen the band and create a cuff.

side 1

No changes to the collar – it’s so pretty, and I like it much more than a pointed collar. It’s a generous width and really behaves. No fear of flying with this convertible collar style – without a collar band, collars are very easy to sew.

collar

A couple more pics. It’s way too hot now for jeans, but these are my favorites. I made them several years ago in mid-weight denim,  using the McCalls 6291 cargo pants pattern (great for shorts as well).

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front 2

Well, I think I’m done with this pattern for a while – but it was fun trying various looks with it. And I love my PJ sets.  I’m giving it 5 stars!

Parting shots – it’s Mother’s Day! From my dear not-so-little ones…from david

David sent these incredible flowers from my favorite florist, ‘Art of Flowers’. For years he sent me orchids, which kept expiring under my care. A hit to my gardener ego, but in reality, orchids from florists are tender. They’ve been handled way too much, chilled, warmed, and mushed. I love getting flowers – my living room smells heavenly.

From my creative Ashley, a precious memory of dancing together in the kitchen…

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Hope this special day brings nice memories to all – Bye for now, Coco

 

Relearning my colors…

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Crayon Art by Jessica Kerbawy

Just when you think you know a couple things about yourself – skin tone, color palette – you go and let your gray white hair grow out in all its glory. Let the color games begin!

profilesI’ve been asked if my hair color change has affected my color choices. Honestly, at first I didn’t even think about it. I was more worried about finding the right hair products to keep out yellow tones. But lately I’ve had more sewing wadders than ever in my life, and I know why: I wasn’t really paying attention to that hair…

My hair color change has major impact – I went from a warm color palette to a cool one.

colorwheelarticle

Except that I didn’t really make that change for quite a while! Recent mistakes include not one, but two dresses with dominant yellow-limes. Both make my skin very yellow!

green things

In addition to color issues, I  was flooding my face with nearby busy prints. I love prints, the brighter and more colorful, the better. Umm. Restraint needed – they are very jarring against my face/hair now.

scary prints

Yesterday I spent time in my closet, focusing on dresses and tops (my pants are ‘reasonably’ neutral – I do love prints on pants ), and I pulled out these guys:

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Which leaves me with a nice selection from the cool side of the color wheel:

One thing I’ve noticed is that white and black are great for me now. I’ve always loved white near my face, but black is new territory. I’m really enjoying it. And I’m not alone -they’re predominant color choices for gray-haired ladies, whatever age, on the many sites I’ve browsed in my color journey.

A couple of the jewel tones – emerald, royal blue – are also new for me, but I find them really working now. This little Cali Faye Gardenia dress, sewn for wearing around the house, has been a surprise. I love how it looks on me!

Cali Faye Gardenia Maxi (2)

And this tunic has become a favorite as well.

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Did you notice that my closet is not exactly bulging now? Great reason to do some thoughtful stash replenishment (I needed an excuse, right?). Winging their way to me soon, some blues and white for outfits. And a few new patterns, to keep things rolling.

new fabric

What an interesting exploration, definitely fun and revealing. I’ve also watched a lot of videos on makeup for my ‘new’ palette, equally enlightening. But that’s another post. For now, back to those crayons. Here’s my take on the good/better/best – that box of 64 was a Christmas list item for years.

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I would love to hear your experiences with shifting palettes and color discoveries!

From the really messy sewing loft – Coco